Sunday, July 13, 2008

If You Think Deregulating Banks Was A Good Idea, Then Maybe You Should Vote For John W. McCain


I never spoke with David Sirota about having a music soundtrack for his awesome new book, The Uprising, but if I had I would have recommended he get Mojo Nixon to write the songs and record them for him. If any musician is part of the Uprising, it's Mojo-- and if you don't know why, you will after you watch the little clip I just threw together for a swingin' ditty he did called "I Hate Banks" (below). If people start getting a good gander at more bankers like the ones McCain has around him-- take Phil Gramm, for instance, with his "Americans are whiners" comments and his assertion that there is no recession except in people's heads-- there will be more and more people who hate banks, as they should, and the politicians who give them license to steal. Tomorrow's NY Times talks about how the taxpayers are being forced to spend billions to bail out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, both brought to the brink of collapse because of ideologically-driven Republican mismanagement of the economy. But that isn't all, analysts say they expect more banks to fail and this, again, is due to the shortsighted greed and selfishness economics of Bush, McCain and the whole rotten Republican party.

This morning's Washington Post ran an ominous article, Many Retirees Face Prospect of Outliving Savings, Study Says. I'm damn glad people are living longer but outliving savings... that doesn't sound good.
Nearly three out of five middle-class retirees will probably run out of money if they maintain their pre-retirement lifestyles, a new study from Ernst & Young has concluded.

The study, set to be released tomorrow, finds that Americans will have to drastically reduce their standard of living before retirement to live comfortably, or even avoid destitution, later in life. Middle-income Americans entering retirement now will have to reduce their standard of living by an average of 24 percent to minimize their chances of outliving their financial assets, the study found. Workers seven years from retirement will have to cut their spending by even more-- 37 percent.

"People are going to have to adapt in a number of ways that they weren't anticipating or hoping for," said Tom Neubig, national director of the Quantitative Economics and Statistics practice at Ernst & Young. "I think a lot of people are hoping to maintain roughly the same standard of living after retirement. Our study suggests they are going to have to make some changes."

About 77 million baby boomers are expected to retire over the next few years. The study warns of an impending national crisis if workers, and lawmakers, do not react now to the changing pension structures in corporate America. Most companies have moved away from defined-benefit plans, in which they provided their retirees with a set benefit each month, to defined-contribution plans such as 401(k)s, in which the employee takes most of the responsibility for saving money. But with the U.S. savings rate abysmally low and people underestimating their life spans, economists warn that aspiring retirees will have to work longer if they do not spend less, no small feat at a time when inflation and the cost of living are rising. Fluctuating investment returns on 401(k)-style plans in this wobbly stock market are not helping matters.

Well... at least Democrats were able to derail the long-time Republican dream of destroying Social Security-- the one thing they managed to stymie Bush and his Republican rubber stamps on. Of course, virtually every single one of McCain's economic advisors harbors that dream and there is no domestic policy McCain wants to accomplish more than wrecking Social Security, the most successful government program in history.

If you think McCain wants to do anything significant different from George Bush-- except attack and bomb even more countries-- then you probably haven't had the time to pay close enough attention. Today on CNN one of McCain's chief surrogates-- and a potential running mate-- South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford basically admitted as much, although that wasn't part of his script since McCain's campaign is that he is the agent of change, the not-George-Bush-candidate. This is especially tough since he has a Senate record that clear shows he has supported almost every single hideous policy Bush has put forward in seven and a half disgraceful and disastrous years. Here was Sanford stuttering and stumbling on CNN today:
BLINTZER: Are there any significant economic differences between what the Bush administration has put forward over these many years as opposed to now what John McCain supports?

SANFORD: Um, yeah. For instance, take, you know, take, for instance, the issue of -- I'm drawing a blank, and I hate it when I do that, particularly on television. Take, for instance the contrast on NAFTA. I mean, I think that the bigger issue is credibility in where one is coming from, are they consistent where they come from.

Take it away, Mojo. Tell us what you and Jesus think of banks and the Republicans who enable what they do:


Tomorrow's headlines will be that McCain is jettisoning his chief economic advisor and close friend, Phil Gramm. But that isn't accurate. Gramm's startlingly horrible approach to matters financial will still be official McCain policy; but Gramm will be kept away from reporters and voters.
Sen. John McCain is definitely done trotting his friend and former Senate colleague Phil Gramm out on the campaign trail, and he is minimizing the Texan's role among his team of advisers.

Gramm had played an important part in crafting McCain's economic plan, and he occasionally appeared at rallies or spoke to editorial boards on the presumptive GOP nominee's behalf. But no longer, according to two key McCain advisers, after Gramm told the Washington Times that the country was filled with "whiners" and the United States is merely in a "mental recession."

Now the McCain lobbyist brigade says Gramm is just a "volunteer." Yeah, like someone who licks envelopes and vandalizes Obama lawn signs. Expect to see Gramm's hallmark policies of deregulation, favors to rich corporations, disembowelment of government programs like Social Security and Medicare, and hardships for working families continue to dominate McCain's gloomy, backward-looking domestic message.

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